The European Union touts itself as a transparent negotiator, a champion of human rights and environmental protection, and a leader in global sustainability. Yet, the EU – Mercosur Association Agreement does not live up to EU’s ambitions of leading a new way of conducting business that puts people and environment first. On the contrary, as it currently stands, the EU – Mercosur Agreement is another iteration of business as usual: opaque negotiations, voluntary and ineffective commitment to sustainability, and special tribunals for state-company disputes.
In this legal opinion by Dr. Rhea Tamara Hoffmann and Prof. Dr. Markus Krajewski, published by CIDSE, MISEREOR and Greenpeace, the authors make it clear: as it currently stands, the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter is unfit for the 2021 centuries. Its declarations of intent will not be enough to protect biodiversity, to fight climate change, and to ensure that human rights are not sacrificed in favour of profits. This legal opinion further strengthens existing opposition to the Agreement, and reinforces the need for a renegotiation of the whole chapter, while acknowledging that even the chapter on Trade and sustainable development (TSD) is not enough if there is no political commitment to a radically different way of doing business.